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Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick named semifinalist for leadership honor

Adam Hagy - USA TODAY Sports

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.– Alabama fans are happy with him returning to practice today in preparation for Mississippi State this week, but Minkah Fitzpatrick has landed on another national award watch list as a semifinalist – making it his third list to this point in the season. 

Per the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Selection Committee, twenty candidates were chosen as semifinalists for the inaugural Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award. 

Named after Dallas Cowboys’ tight end Jason Witten, the honor goes to the player that best demonstrated leadership both on and off the field. Along with being the Cowboys’ all-time leading receiver through 15 NFL seasons, Witten has served as pro football’s most prominent role model. His honors have stemmed from work in the community, as well as serving teammates and family with pride.  

For the Crimson Tide, Fitzpatrick means everything on defense. 

Garnering attention as a five-star in the program’s 2015 class, the New Jersey native lines up at safety in Alabama’s regular package, Star in its nickel defense and Money in the team’s dime package. He accounts for nine career interceptions, including a school-record four pick-sixes. 

In 2011, Fitzpatrick quickly became a man for his family as he helped restore his home in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

To pair with his excellence in the classroom, the junior defensive back also serves in the community with helping local youth.

Fitzpatrick constantly visits elementary and high schools in Tuscaloosa, while also encouraging the elderly in hospitals. 

He’s one of two Southeastern Conference players on the list – joining offensive lineman Frank Ragnow of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Three finalists will be announced for the award on Monday, Dec. 11 and a winner shall be announced on Feb. 22, 2018 at The Star in Frisco, Texas. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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